Fabricio Werdum Says He's Going To Make Alistair Overeem Go To Sleep
That according to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker in the upcoming Heavyweight tournament. "Alistair asked for Fabricio, personally. When I was in Japan last week, he said, ‘You’ve got to let me fight Fabricio. I want to avenge that loss. It’s important.’ So that was an easy fight to put together. Werdum says he’s going to make Alistair go to sleep."
Rich Attonito To Drop To Welterweight
The next time he steps into the octagon, veteran 185-pounder Rich Attonito will be a little lighter. He said today that Welterweight is a better fight for him than Middleweight, and plans to drop to that class for his next fight. He said the decision was not made because of his recent loss to Dave Branch. "It was a horrible fight for me," he said. "I didn't make the adjustments I needed to make to put myself in a position to win. But after the loss, (I was) feeling I was going to give up height and reach and size with pretty much all the guys I fight. So it was the right time after the loss to make a move and get a fresh start." Attonito has yet to receive his next booking but hopes to fight alongside teammate Thiago Alves at an as-yet-unannounced UFC event planned for Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas. Alves is expected to meet up-and-comer Rick Story.
Olympians applying skills to new arena
It has been more than six years since Rhadi Ferguson represented the United States in judo at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and chances are the Coconut Creek, Fla., native -- now 35 -- will never compete at the Olympics again.
Still, that doesn't make him a former Olympian. That term doesn't even exist, in Ferguson's opinion. As far as he's concerned, you're either an Olympian or you're not.
"There's no such thing as a former Olympian," Ferguson told ESPN.com. "Once an Olympian, always an Olympian. That can never be taken away."
Strikeforce Expects to Promote Pay-Per-View in 2011
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker expects his company to take a major step forward this year.
“I believe by the end of this year, we will be in the pay-per-view business,” he said Wednesday on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show.
The recently announced eight-man heavyweight tournament has a role in Coker’s strategy to hit pay-per-view. Showtime regularly airs the promotion’s cards, and two Strikeforce events have also been shown on CBS. Coker said the first round of the heavyweight tournament will air on Showtime, but he’s keeping his options open for the semifinals and finals.
“I think that the goal with this tournament is to eventually work its way into the pay-per-view business,” Coker said.
Rampage Jackson Responds to "Phony" James Toney (Video)
"The only thing that the Fake Mr. T has to do is sign the contract. Rampage is a decent club fighter and if he thinks his club fighting style can match my skills, then he is crazy as hell."
"What? Is he mad because I called him an Uncle Tom or because I said Detroit wouldn't accept him? (Laughing) ... Rampage is still an Uncle Tom and I will go on record and say he is not dumb enough to stand and trade with me. Machida almost knocked him out, so what do you think I would do to him."
"Rampage is a black redneck. He better stick to hanging with them white boys and keep my name out of his mouth. I ain't hard to find; sign the contract."
UFC Quick Quote: Georges St. Pierre is boring...
Ever since losing the welterweight title to Matt Serra at UFC 69, Georges St. Pierre has faced questions from the media and fans regarding his seeming lack of killer instinct. Now his former hero turned nemesis Matt Hughes is piling on and makes the claim that "GSP" is only playing defense when he steps inside the Octagon. Not just because he doesn't want to lose his coveted 170-pound belt but also because he gets paid too much by the UFC.
Will Campuzano meets Chris Cariaso at Fight for the Troops 2
With David Mitchell and Mike Swick each bowing out to injury, UFC brass had an extra slot to fill at UFC Fight Night 23.
Enter Will Campuzano (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Chris Cariaso (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that the two bantamweights have verbally agreed to meet at "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2," which takes place Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
Scott Coker: We (Strikeforce) Have The Best HW Division In MMA"
At least he thinks so. "To me the fans are always going to think what they want. I've always known we have the best heavyweight division in mixed martial arts. I had this in my back pocket. I don't really gauge what's going out in the viral world, the virtual world. I just know that this is a special moment in time. All these heavyweight fighters are here and in their youth, young enough to compete at high levels. We're going to let them all fight each other and this is the best way to do it."
Rousimar Palhares Will Feel "Weird" Fighting Alexandre Ferreira
Not just because he's fighting another Brazillian, but it's one of those dreaded "friend vs. friend" fights. "The boss told us to fight, so we'll have to do it, but I don't like facing a Brazilian, specially when it's a friend of mine, like Cacareco. It'll be weird to see him on the other side of the Octagon ready to fight me. We've trained together for many time, we've helped each other a lot... I really like him, I consider him a good friend and training partner. As I see it, it won't change our friendship one bit, and I hope he sees it that way too."
Devin Cole Plans To Make Most of Second Chance at Strikeforce Challengers
Second chances aren’t always easy to come by, and heavyweight Devin Cole knows this.
After achieving immediate success in the IFL, Cole went through a rough patch in his career which left him out of the spotlight, looking for one more opportunity.
As Cole himself admitted to MMAWeekly.com, “The IFL was definitely a big time (opportunity), in fact, I was offered a UFC contract right after I beat Travis Wiuff, in between the first and second seasons of the IFL, and I actually turned it down to stay with the IFL.
With Help From UFC Champ, Daniel Cormier Readies for Strikeforce Big Guns
The news of Strikeforce's upcoming heavyweight tournament was a bombshell development for a company still working on prying eyes from the UFC. And it's also a welcome scenario for the Strikeforce athletes, who are well aware of the extra spotlight it is likely to bring, even to fighters who are not part of the field.
One such fighter who may receive added attention from it is Daniel Cormier, an undefeated fighter who is among a group of rising stars in Strikeforce's heavyweight ranks.
Pablo Garza vs. Yves Jabouin on tap for UFC 129
Featherweights Pablo Garza (10-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Yves Jabouin (15-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) are expected to meet at UFC 129.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the news today from multiple sources close to the event, who said verbal agreements are in place with contracts on the way.
UFC 129 takes place April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Cananda, and will feature a welterweight title match between champ Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields.
Nick Catone vs. Dan Miller on tap for UFC 128 in New Jersey
New Jersey residents Nick Catone (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Dan Miller (14-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) are expected to square off on home turf at UFC 128.
A source close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place for the middleweight bout, which was first reported by MMADiehards.com.
UFC 128 takes place March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and is expected to feature a light heavyweight title match between champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Rashad Evans.
Undefeated Nazareno Malegarie signs with Bellator Fighting Championships
Bellator Fighting Championships has signed top featherweight prospects Nazareno Malegarie (19-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with sources close to the fighter that Malegarie has signed with the Chicago-based promotion. The signing was first reported by Sherdog.com.
Sources indicated Malegarie is targeted for a featherweight tournament to be held this year, though it is currently unclear if the undefeated Ataque Dupio product will compete in a season-four bracket or a potential season-five tournament to be held later this year.
Visa issues force Cherdivara out; Ferguson faces Richard at Strikeforce Challengers 13
Canadian Ion Cherdivara has encountered difficulties in securing a visa and has been forced to withdraw from this weekend's Strikeforce Challengers 13 event.
Stepping in on short notice is South Carolina's John Richard (3-1 MMA, 0-0 SF), who now takes on former Olympic judoka Rhadi Ferguson (2-0 MMA, 0-0 SF) on the main card of the Showtime-televised event.
Featuring an intriguing welterweight fight between Tarec Saffiedine and Tyron Woodley, Strikeforce Challengers 13 takes place Friday, Jan. 7, at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Strikeforce HW tournament bracket unveiled
By Josh Gross
Updated: January 4, 2011, 10:05 PM ET
Following months of speculation, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker's desire to promote a single-elimination heavyweight tournament in 2011 has come to fruition. Showtime, which expects to televise each of the event's three legs, revealed opening-round matches and the tournament bracket Tuesday.
"It's a long, grueling process as we know with these tournaments, and whoever comes out on top will be the reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion," said Ken Hershman, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports.
Beginning Feb. 12 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., four of the eight fighters signed up for the main draw will compete in first-round matchups.
Fedor Emelianenko (31-2) fights Antonio Silva (15-2) and Andrei Arlovski (15-8) is matched against Sergei Kharitonov (16-4).
The remaining quarterfinal fights will likely take place in April, Showtime and Strikeforce officials said. The event's date and location are yet to be determined. Current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (33-11) will meet Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1), and Brett Rogers (11-2) tangles with Josh Barnett (29-5).
UFC 125 "UFC Prelims" draws 829,000 viewers on ION Television
While many MMA fans had little knowledge of ION Television before the network partnered with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, more than three-quarters-of-a-million viewers were able to find the channel this past weekend.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned from industry sources that this past weekend's "UFC Prelims" special, which featured a trio of live fights from "UFC 125: Resolution," drew an average of 829,000 viewers.
This past weekend's one-hour special marked the UFC's debut on ION Television. Past editions of "UFC Prelims" have aired on Spike TV and UFC.com.
Prior to UFC 125, the most recent edition of "UFC Prelims" to air on TV was "UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida," which drew 1.5 million viewers. The figures for this past weekend's event mark a 44 percent decrease from the November broadcast of UFC 123.
UFC 124 also featured two fights streaming live on UFC.com, though the promotion did not reveal the number of online viewers that tuned in.
UFC officials have yet to announce if the promotion will continue to provide content to ION Television, which was launched in 1998 as PAX TV, was rebranded as Ion Television in 2007. The channel was also known as i from 2005 to 2007.
The "UFC Prelims" special for UFC 125 featured three exciting contests as Jeremy Stephens knocked out Marcus Davis, Dustin Poirier earned a one-sided decision over Josh Grispi, and Brad Tavares earned a first-round TKO win over Phil Baroni.
To date, the UFC has aired 14 "UFC Prelims" broadcasts. The top six "UFC Prelims" specials in terms of viewership all aired in 2010.
The full list of "UFC Prelims" broadcasts and ratings, which has traditionally aired on Spike TV, as compiled by MMAjunkie.com includes:
* 1) UFC 109 (February 2010): 1.7 million viewers
* 2) UFC 114 (May 2010): 1.6 million viewers
* 3) UFC 108 (January 2010): 1.5 million viewers
* 3) UFC 121 (October 2010): 1.5 million viewers
* 3) UFC 123 (November 2010): 1.5 million viewers
* 6) UFC 104 (October 2009): 1.4 million viewers
* 6) UFC 103 (September 2009): 1.4 million viewers
* 8) UFC 119 (September 2010): 1.3 million viewers
* 8) UFC 116 (July 2010): 1.3 million viewers
* 8) UFC 115 (June 2010): 1.3 million viewers
* 8) UFC 106 (November 2009): 1.3 million viewers
* 12) UFC 111 (March 2010): 1.2 million viewers
* 13) UFC 118 (August 2010): 1.1 million viewers
* 14) UFC 125 (January 2011): 829,000 viewers*
UFC Suspends Chael Sonnen and Temporarily Freezes Contract
The news was first reported by TMZ.com, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) subsequently confirmed the suspension with a source close to the fighter.
"Chael Sonnen has gone through a lot in the last few months, and we think it's important for him to focus on getting his personal life together before focusing on his career in the UFC," UFC president Dana White told TMZ.com.
MMAjunkie.com was not immediately able to reach White for comment.
On Monday, MMAjunkie.com reported that Sonnen had been targeted for a UFC 128 matchup with Yoshihiro Akiyama. That bout is now apparently on hold, as TMZ.com reports Sonnen's contract "has been temporarily frozen."
The length of Sonnen's suspension has yet to be revealed.